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Free NHS WiFi:
United Kingdom Created: 9 Dec 2015
Junior doctors 'spend up to 70 per cent of time on paperwork'
A report commissioned by the Health Secretary suggests junior doctors are spending swathes of their time battling bureaucracy, and that free WiFi across the NHS could help patients and staff alike.

Junior doctors are spending up to 70 per cent of their time on paperwork, according to a Government report which says free Wi-Fi across the NHS would allow medics to spend far more time with patients.

Web entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox has drawn up proposals to improve online access to NHS services, and allow staff and patients to make better use of modern technology.

The review, commissioned by the Health Secretary, is calling for free wifi to be introduced in every NHS building, as part of efforts to modernise the way services are run.
It suggests that swathes of staff time is spent battling bureaucracy, which could be managed much more efficiently using technology.

doctor using apps on his smartphone, textingApps can be prescribed for a range of conditions Photo: Alamy

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, said the NHS needed to “mobilise its assets” to make better use of technology.

Free access to wireless technology could help hospital patients to monitor their conditions using apps, and to maintain contact with social networks that can support recovery, she suggested.

“Wi-Fi would also reduce the administrative burden on doctors, nurses and care staff, currently estimated to take up to 70 per cent of a junior doctor’s day, freeing up more time to be spent with patients," wrote Baroness Lane-Fox.

Safer working practices such as e-prescribing could also reduce medication errors by 50 per cent, she said.

The former UK digital champion, who co-founded lastminute.com in the 1990s, said far more should be done to ensure patients can book appointments online and access up-to-date medical information.

While great strides have been made ensuring GP surgeries are able to accept bookings online, little has been done to ensure patients are aware they can do so, she said.

The piece, co-authored with Tim Kelsey, NHS England national director for patients and information, says the six million people who have never been online must not be “left behind”.

“Universal free access to broadband, with the skills to use it, has the potential to be one of the great public health advances of the twenty-first century,” they suggest.
“Those who lack access to the public utility of the internet will, like those who lacked access to the public utility of clean water and sanitation in the nineteenth century, be at risk of increasing inequality and poorer health status.
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Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir

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